Philippines braces for 200kph typhoon Yutu

This photo shows winds on the island of Saipan after Super Typhoon Yutu swept through Northern Mariana Islands on Oct. 25, 2018. Yutu is likely to make landfall over the northern Philippines on Tuesday. (Amber Lee Alberts via AP)
Updated 29 October 2018
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Philippines braces for 200kph typhoon Yutu

  • Yutu is likely to make landfall over the Philippines' northern island of Luzon on Tuesday morning
  • It is expected  to affect areas devastated just last month by Super Typhoon Mangkhut

MANILA: Philippine authorities have started preparations for a powerful cyclone, internationally named Yutu, which is expected to rip into northern and central Luzon after leaving a trail of destruction in the US Northern Mariana Islands last week.

Yutu, which has been given the local name Rosita, is likely to make landfall over Isabela or Aurora provinces Tuesday morning affecting areas devastated just last month by typhoon Ompong (international name Mangkhut), the state weather bureau said.

The latest weather forecast issued by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) indicates that Yutu is already 760 kilometers east of Aparri, Cagayan, or 750 kilometers east of Tuguegarao City, Cagayan, moving west at 20kph.

The typhoon continues to have maximum winds of 200kph near the center and gustiness of up to 245 kph. It has a huge diameter of 800 kilometers.

PAGASA said tropical storm warnings may be issued starting Sunday night, while moderate-to-heavy rains directly associated with the typhoon are expected starting this evening (Oct. 29). 

Authorities likewise warned of possible flooding and landslides in the affected areas, adding that travel by land and sea is risky.

They likewise warned that there might also be storm surges of 3-4 meters height in coastal areas of Cagayan and Isabela.

As Yutu entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility Saturday, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council convened to discuss preparation measures.

Among the measures is the issuing of warnings and advice to the local government units, the stockpiling of food and non-food items, and the prepositioning and stockpiling of medicines and medical supplies.

The military, police, coast guard and fire bureau have also committed their response and assets ready for deployment.

In the Ilocos region, provincial disaster response teams and city and municipal mayors have also been asked to take all the necessary precautions for the typhoon.

Authorities are once again aiming for zero casualties and to minimize damage to properties, saying they will take no chances with the lives of the affected residents.

Those living in high-risk areas such as coastal towns, mountainous and hilly zones and river banks were told to prepare for possible evacuation to safer ground. This, as evacuation centers are being prepared.

Water and food supplies are being readied.

Inspection teams will also fan out to make sure retail outlets and other businesses engaged in the sale and distribution of basic goods will not resort to predatory pricing and practices unfair to consumers.

PAGASA earlier said Yutu is almost as strong as Mangkhut, whose maximum winds reached 205 kph and gustiness of 255 kph before it made landfall over Cagayan province last September.


Man who killed newlywed during robbery executed in Texas

Alvin Braziel appears in a booking photo provided by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice in Austin, Texas, US, December 10, 2018. (REUTERS)
Updated 12 December 2018
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Man who killed newlywed during robbery executed in Texas

  • The Whites, who had only been married 10 days, didn’t have any money on them but told Braziel they could get him some and they started walking back to their truck

HUNTSVILLE, Texas: A Texas inmate was executed Tuesday evening for fatally shooting a newlywed during a robbery more than 25 years ago.
Alvin Braziel Jr., 43, received lethal injection at the state penitentiary in Huntsville for the 1993 slaying of 27-year-old Douglas White, who was attacked as he and his wife walked on a jogging trail.
Braziel became the 24th inmate put to death this year in the US and the 13th executed in Texas, the nation’s busiest capital punishment state. He will be the last Texas inmate executed this year.
The execution was delayed about 90 minutes after the six-hour window defined by the warrant began at 6 p.m. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals rejected a last-minute appeal from Braziel’s attorneys.
As Douglas and Lora White walked along a community college jogging trail in the Dallas suburb of Mesquite, Braziel jumped out from behind some bushes with a pistol in his hand and demanded money.
The Whites, who had only been married 10 days, didn’t have any money on them but told Braziel they could get him some and they started walking back to their truck. But Braziel became angry with the couple and ordered them to the ground.
“Doug ... was praying, asked God to forgive him and Lora their sins because they both knew that this was it,” said Michael Bradshaw, the lead detective on the case for Mesquite police. “The last thing Doug said before Braziel fired the first round, he said, ‘Please God, don’t let him hurt Lora.’“
Braziel shot White once in the head and once in his heart.
Bradshaw said he believes Braziel would have also shot then-24-year-old Lora White but his gun malfunctioned. Braziel instead took her to bushy area near the trail and sexually assaulted her.
Douglas White’s murder was featured on the television show “America’s Most Wanted” and a $20,000 reward was raised by the chiropractic college he had worked for as an electrician. Bradshaw said more than 40 potential suspects were interrogated and had their blood drawn for testing.
But White’s murder remained unsolved for over seven years.
“I really didn’t know that I would ever be able to solve it. But I really did not give up hope,” said Bradshaw, 63, who retired from Mesquite police in 2012.
Braziel was eventually tied to the killing in 2001 after he was imprisoned for sexual assault in an unrelated case and his DNA matched evidence from Lora White’s assault.
At his trial, Braziel said he wasn’t near the college during the killing.
Braziel’s attorneys didn’t immediately reply to emails and calls seeking comment on Tuesday.
Last week, his lawyers asked the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals to stop his execution, arguing in part he should not receive lethal injection because he is intellectually disabled.
The Supreme Court held in 2002 that people convicted of murder who are intellectually disabled cannot be executed.
Braziel’s attorneys later withdrew their request.
Courts had previously turned down Braziel’s appeals that have focused on claims of mental illness and that he had suffered a childhood brain injury, saying Braziel refused to be examined by a mental health expert during his trial and that his family declined to help his defense attorneys obtain evidence of any mental health problems in Braziel’s family.
His attorneys also filed a last-minute appeal Tuesday, arguing that an emotional outburst at the 2001 murder trial from Lora White was unfairly elicited by prosecutors when she was shown on the witness stand a photo of her husband’s autopsied body.
Bradshaw said he still keeps in contact with Lora White and that she started a new life and is doing well.
“Lora wants it known that she’s prayed for Alvin Braziel and his family,” Bradshaw said.